Priapism Treatments

Looking for information on priapism treatments? If you are not familiar with priapism, priapism occurs when a male has had a prolonged erection of the penis. Generally speaking, a priapism is actually painful and the erection is not the result of being aroused sexually. Although men of any age can experience a priapism, it is most common in boys aged five to ten years old and men aged twenty to 50 years old. 

To be treated for priapism, you will need to:

  • Visit a doctor
  1. Aspiration. Aspiration is a treatment option for ischemic priapism. An ischemic priapism occurs when blood is unable to leave the penis. To remove the blood from your penis, your doctor would numb your penis with a local anesthetic. Once numbed, a small needle and syringe will be inserted into your penis and any excess blood will be removed. Unfortunately, an aspiration may have to be performed several within a period of a couple of hours before the unwanted erection ends.
  2. Medication. Another treatment option for ischemic priapism is medication. If your doctor decides to go the medication route to treat your priapism, a medication called alpha-adrenergic sympathomimetic will be injected into your penis. The purpose of that injectable medication is to limit the amount of blood that enters your penis by constricting the actual blood vessels that are responsible for transporting blood to your penis. Like the aspiration treatment, the medication treatment for priapism may have to be repeated multiple times until you lose your erection.
  3. Surgery. Surgery is a treatment option for both ischemic priapism and nonischemic priapism. However, if you have nonischemic priapism, your doctor will typically take a wait and see approach before considering surgery because a nonischemic priapism often goes away on its own and poses no risk of damage to your penis. In regards to ischemic priapism, surgery will become a viable option if your erection does not respond to aspiration or medication. During surgery for priapism, your doctor will generally insert a shunt into your penis, which will reroute your blood to ensure that it is properly flowing through your penis.

Tip: If you have had an unwanted erection for a period of four hours or longer, it is very important that you seek medical attention immediately. If ischemic priapism is left untreated, it can cause serious damage to your penis.

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